Great article on Bynum. Could it be Thursday marks the return of the beast? It looks that way.
O.C. Register: Andrew Bynum is coming back, perhaps as soon as Thursday night against Denver.
Just as those “Banging with Mbenga” T-shirts were starting to take off, too. (It’s just as well, because it doesn’t take a wordsmith to realize those shirts should say: “Mbanging with Mbenga.” Maybe as a tribute, Bynum will go out there Thursday night with “MBYNUM” on his back.)
Just in watching Bynum do his thing in a pregame workout session with Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw on Sunday night, anyone would conclude that Bynum can do pretty much whatever he is needed. He is pain-free and if this were the postseason would undoubtedly be playing right now.
He’s fully capable of helping right now, too. Phil Jackson, hardly Pollyanna when it comes to this sort of thing, allowed that Bynum was “kind of the dominant force in there” in his 5-on-5 work at practice Saturday.
Bynum knows he’s basically ready to roll. You could see it in the big smile on his face Sunday. But Jackson wants a controlled atmosphere for Bynum to get off to a confidence-building start in his return. No way will he bring Bynum back first in a road game, and Jackson is even a little uneasy about whether Denver – the league’s No. 6 scoring team – plays too up-tempo a game for Bynum to be altogether comfortable Thursday night.
But Denver isn’t a superfast team anymore. It’s a perfectly fine setting for Bynum to come back – not rushing, but not delaying too much.